Saturday, May 25: She wiped them with her hair

We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Luke, which emphasizes the way God acts among people and across history through Christ.

Read Luke 7:36-39

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner."


Wealthy diners reclined on couches as they ate with their heads toward the table and their feet extended outward. Jesus has accepted an invitation to eat with a Pharisee. The surprise uninvited guest is a woman known for her immoral lifestyle. What emotions do you think she's reflecting through her tears, her washing of Jesus' feet, and her extravagant anointing of his feet with perfume? What might she have known about Jesus that would have prompted such an unexpected display?


The host was a Pharisee, a group known for their self-righteousness, and he would never allow a woman like this to touch him. Therefore he assumes that Jesus must not be a true prophet or he would have known the kind of woman who was anointing him and rebuffed her actions. Who had the more accurate understanding of who Jesus was: the Pharisee or the woman? How accurate do you think your picture of Jesus is?

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